What is Web 5.0 – the blockchain-powered digital network Twitter’s ex-CEO wants to build?

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently announced his vision for a brand new decentralized net platform that is being known as Web 5.0 and is being built with an aim to return “ownership of data and identity to individuals”. What is Web 5.0, and the way will it be totally different from Web 3.0 and Web 2.0?

What do the terms Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 mean?

Web 1.0 was the first generation of the world’s digital communications network. It is often referred to as the “read-only” Internet made of static web pages that only allowed for passive engagement.

The next stage in the evolution of the net was the “read and write” Web. Customers had been now ready to talk with servers and other users main to the creation of the social web. This is the world wide web that we use right now.

Web 3.0 is an evolving term that is used to refer to the next technology of the Web – a “read-write-execute” net – with decentralization as its bedrock.

It speaks about digital worlds, built by leveraging blockchain technology, where people are able to work together with every other without the need of a middleman. Web 3.0 will be driven by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning where machines can be ready to interpret information like humans.

What is Web 5.0?

Being developed by Dorsey’s Bitcoin business unit, The Block Head (TBH), Web 5.0 is aimed toward “building an extra decentralized web that puts you in control of your data and identity”.

Speaking about the idea on its website, the TBH says: “The web democratized the exchange of information, but it’s missing a key layer: identity. We struggle to secure personal data with hundreds of accounts and passwords we can’t remember. On the web today, identity and personal data have become the property of third parties.”

Simply put, Web 5.0 is Web 2.0 plus Web 3.0 that can enable users to ‘own their identity on the Internet and ‘control their data’.

Each Web 3.0 and Web 5.0 envision a Web without the risk of censorship – from governments or massive tech, and without fear of significant outages.

Replying to a Twitter question if there was any difference between Web 5.0 and Web 3.0, Dorsey argued that Web 3.0 isn’t truly decentralized or owned by its users, however, is instead controlled by various “venture capitalists and limited partners”.

What are the use cases for Web 5.0?

On its website, the TBT presents two use cases for the way Web 5.0 will change things in the future.

About changing the “control of identity”, it says: “Alice holds a digital wallet that securely manages her identity, data, and authorizations for external apps and connections. Alice uses her wallet to sign in to a new decentralized social media app. Because Alice has connected to the app with her decentralized identity, she does not need to create a profile, and all the connections, relationships, and posts she creates through the app are stored with her, in her decentralized web node. Now Alice can switch apps whenever she wants, taking her social persona with her.”

Speaking about giving users control over their own information, it cites an example of another user, Bob, and describes him as a music lover who hates having his personal information locked to a single vendor as it forces him to regurgitate his playlists and songs over and over again across totally different music apps.

“Thankfully there’s a way out of this maze of vendor-locked silos: Bob can keep this data in his decentralized web node. This way Bob is able to grant any music app access to his settings and preferences, enabling him to take his personalized music experience wherever he chooses,” it provides.